Effect of Integrated Soil and Water Conservation Practices on Vegetation Cover Change and Soil Loss Reduction in Southern Ethiopia
American Journal of Environmental Protection
Volume 9, Issue 3, June 2020, Pages: 49-55
Received: Jan. 15, 2020;
Accepted: Mar. 4, 2020;
Published: Jun. 3, 2020
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Dessale Wasie, Department of Soil and Water Resource Management, College of Agriculture, Woldia University, Mersa, Ethiopia
Fantaw Yimer, School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa University, Shashemanne, Ethiopia
Shiferaw Alem, Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocoenology, Mendel University in Brno, Hawassa, Ethiopia
Soil erosion is a major challenge in sustaining agricultural production. Area closure with tree planting and physical conservation measures, implemented by various land rehabilitation programs is one of the best options to address the soil erosion problem. This study was conducted to assess the effect of integrated soil and water conservation (SWC) practices on woody vegetation rehabilitation and soil erosion reduction in Hawassa Zuriya Woreda, Southern Ethiopia. Vegetation cover type classification and delineation were completed for each land management category (closure area with SWC, closure area without SWC and open grazing area) in the field. RUSLE model integrated with a GIS environment was used to estimate the annual soil losses. Results showed that SWC practices were increased forest, shrub and grass coverage, and reduced bare land surface coverage. The average C (p=0.02) and P values (p=0.04), and annual soil erosion rate were significantly lower in closure with SWC (p=0.0001) compared to the value without SWC and open grazing land. Thus, the average annual soil erosion rate was reduced below a tolerable (< 1 t/ha/yr.) level by SWC practices. The overall results confirmed that integrated soil and water conservation practices reduced soil erosion rates and improved woody species diversity. Therefore, area closure integrated with SWC practices is the best option to improve the biophysical condition of degraded lands.
Effect of Integrated Soil and Water Conservation Practices on Vegetation Cover Change and Soil Loss Reduction in Southern Ethiopia, American Journal of Environmental Protection.
Vol. 9, No. 3,
2020, pp. 49-55.
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